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New 'military timeline' to be hosted this weekend in Beekmantown

BEEKMANTOWN - When the Battle of Plattsburgh Association decided not to host its annual Plattsburgh Military Timeline, Matt Hewson and friend John Dodge decided to do something.

The nonprofit organization announced earlier this year that the pending sale of the Old Stone Barracks property led to an understanding the property would no longer be available on which to host historical reenactments, resulting in a cancellation of the association's annual timeline event.

"There was still a great amount of interest in a timeline in the area and people were very disappointed with the cancellation," said Hewson. "In an effort to prevent the area from losing a great community activity and learning opportunity, John Dodge and I decided to put together an event that would provide the same opportunities for folks in the area."

The two began collaborating with the Clinton County Historical Association and town of Beekmantown officials to prepare an event to be held at the Town of Beekmantown Recreation Park on Spellman Road.

"Once the idea started rolling people really jumped on board," said Hewson.

The planning that has gone into the event has taken several months, said Hewson. The result is the first annual Clinton County Military Timeline - an event he feels will provide attendees with a "smorgasbord of history."

"Visitors will be able to talk with reenactors and view demonstrations from time periods ranging from the French and Indian War all the way to World War II," said Hewson.

The event will feature regularly scheduled firing demonstrations that will showcase the progression and innovation of American martial arms and several smaller demonstrations that will focus on more specific time periods.

One such smaller demonstration will be the "Trench Gun Derby," which will span the time periods of the Spanish American War and World War II, demonstrating "the awe-inspiring firepower of the 1897 Trench Gun," said Hewson. A World War II bazooka demonstration and simulated gas attack drill are also among the events in the day expected to be highlights for spectators, he added.

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